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Customer said i scratched her glass


Chad Lewis

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So.. i took on a new customer who has always had the traditional method of window cleaning. I completed the first clean as agreed and was told on the day, the windows have never looked so good. I turned up 4 weeks later to clean them again, only to be told i had scratched a few of her windows. I got the ladder out, had a look and I'm not convinced it was me one bit.

The scratch's were all completely horizontal, from 6inches to 3inches. Each window had just one  horizontal scratch, almost as if someone used a ruler to do it they were that straight.

Unfortunately i never took a picture. 

 

Now...  I always look after the brushes, shaking them out before each use. I never lay them face down on the ground or on the walls. 

I explained all of this and showed her the brush heads explaining they are made to clean glass and can not scratch it. And if the brush head maybe had a stone in it or grit, then the lines surely would be vertical, as you all well know, we scrub up and down.

I'm 99.9% sure it wasn't me, but she was 100% it was. After a lengthy conversation she was still happy for me to do them again and turned down me offering the traditional way. 

I started up this year and have never had a complaint. I use extreme poles and a mixture of gardiner brushes. Its just unsettled me a bit.

Has anyone else had any similar situations?

Also, do i keep her on the books or let her go, i feel she might be trying to pull a fast one?

The pic is a example of the scratches,

Thanks in advance, chad 

 

 

Screenshot_20201103-173600_Photos.jpg

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I think the fact she agreed for you to continue means she's not certain either. Never had a customer claim I've scratched their glass and I do a lot of work with PM companies that have professional moaners as clients.

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Almost impossible to scratch windows with WFP, but not quite.  Any scratch would be very light as it would require a bit of sharp grit in the bristles and the bristles would not exert enough pressure to make a deep scratch. I've been doing this for nineteen years and I think I 'may' have  made two small scratches in all that time.

Much more likely that your scratches were made by a squeegy jockey using straight pulls.

Keep or dump depends on her attitude and how comfortable you feel with continuing, but any future accusations would be an immediate red card.

 

 

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I've just remembered that years ago, not long after I had started WFP, a customer accused me of scratching an upstairs window. I got my ladder out and climbed up to inspect the window, the scratches were on the inside, customer dumped.

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I don't think you scratched it. Your agitations would have been vertical and they would have had the most pressure against the glass. I often agitate horizontally and lightly with the brush on its side as I find it quicker on some windows but I think I'm in the minority. I rinse on in the same way. I don't scrub unless I see a need to with bird muck and the likes. If there was hard contamination in the brush surely there would be more than one scratch and they would be vertical. My guess is that it might have been someone removing labels with a blade at some time. Or just an accidental scratch or two at the time of delivery, site handling or fitting. The customer probably scrutinised it more as you're a different windie with a different method. The scratches have probably been there for years. We'll never know the answer for sure.

I wouldn't accept responsibility if I were you.

Edited by Davy G
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I think the scratches were there before cleaning with trad would leave soap in the scratch so it won’t show up as much cleaning wfp will remove all the soap out of the scratch causing a prism effect with light in it so it shows up much more reflecting light . 

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3 hours ago, Davy G said:

I don't think you scratched it. Your agitations would have been vertical and they would have had the most pressure against the glass. I often agitate horizontally and lightly with the brush on its side as I find it quicker on some windows but I think I'm in the minority. I rinse on in the same way. I don't scrub unless I see a need to with bird muck and the likes. If there was hard contamination in the brush surely there would be more than one scratch and they would be vertical. My guess is that it might have been someone removing labels with a blade at some time. Or just an accidental scratch or two at the time of delivery, site handling or fitting. The customer probably scrutinised it more as you're a different windie with a different method. The scratches have probably been there for years. We'll never know the answer for sure.

I wouldn't accept responsibility if I were you.

I agitate some windows with the brush on it's side, it is better but I really don't know why.  Double doors from the handle downwards I use it on its side, vertical for the top half, not all the time, depends how much room I've got behind me.

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Top tip

If someone ever says you scratched my glass.. don't get ladders out. Ask the customer to show you the scratch from inside looking out. Them inviting you into their home Normaly makes them back down. Also using ladders to investigate aforementioned damage will give them ammunition to say you damaged their sills or prize hydrangeas 

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She was so adamant you had scratched she waited 4 weeks to tell you instead of contacting you sooner, if the mutual trust has gone then dump her, wfp will get the glass much cleaner and revealed these scratches after a deep clean.

I had one about 3 months ago she was 100% adamant I had scratched a newly installed double glazed unit, within 2 days the double glazing firm came out and replaced it for her free of charge, so they admitted liability and I got no apology she she got dumped.

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7 hours ago, Chris34 said:

I agitate some windows with the brush on it's side, it is better but I really don't know why.  Double doors from the handle downwards I use it on its side, vertical for the top half, not all the time, depends how much room I've got behind me.

I think it works well because it acts like a descending windscreen wiper and seems to cover the area quicker. On doors I'll often upend the pole so the handle is up and the brush is below, upside down. I try to keep the brush in contact with the work the whole time. The swivel helps with the sideways work and the upside down work.

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16 hours ago, Pjj said:

I think the scratches were there before cleaning with trad would leave soap in the scratch so it won’t show up as much cleaning wfp will remove all the soap out of the scratch causing a prism effect with light in it so it shows up much more reflecting light . 

This is exactly what i explained to her. Cheers for the reply

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Thank you to everyone that took the time to reply, i appreciate it. This forum really has has some great people on here. Look after yourselfs  everyone 🙂 

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is not easy to prove it wasn't you once they mentioned that to you ... 

 I can't image how a brush would leave ANY scratches tho 

Last year I called one of my regular customer (posh area in Ascot ) and before I could say "hello" she started 

..."Yes .. I was gonna call you today .. err remember two months ago when you last clean our windows ? it was a bit wet ?!"

me-"yes ?? may be "

customer-"and it was very windy remember ?"

me-"ok ..?!"

customer - "and the next day, we noticed you broke an upstairs window "

me-speechless , and before i could say a word she continues 

customer - "but don't you worry - we have arranged a replacement already "

customer - " I will call you next month - good bye "  

 

What happened to their window - i have no idea but certainly it wasn't me , I always keep my eyes on the brush  

they never called back and that's good 'cos i dont need them on my list 

Edited by Iurie
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Got another one today, custy called about a job I cleaned on Monday one unit on some bi-fold doors horizontal scratches, going to have a look tomorrow after work, they are good long term custys and he was totally fine on the phone if there is no resolve tomorrow it will get passed to the insurance.

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Master Jedi Alejandro
4 hours ago, spruce said:

Low winter sun shows up imperfections that have been there for years.

Yeah and folk are stuck inside with nothing else to do. What would have never been noticed before or, if noticed, not cared about, is now number 1 priority! Folk need a distraction and unfortunately I think in some cases it’s gonna be blaming us 😬

Edited by Master Jedi Alejandro
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If I look at the way I clean a window a horizontal scratch isn't possible where that is.

I run along the top frame a couple of times and rinse. Then I clean the side frames and bottom frames and then 'box the window in' (cleaning the glass next to the frame all the way around the glass.) Then the remaining window is done twice with vertical strokes. Any bird strikes etc are 'attacked with vertical brush strokes.  In 99% of cases we lift off the glass to rinse. I then clean the sill with a final rinse on the lower section of the glass and sill. Switch the Univalve/Aquadaptor off  and wipe the sill with the brush.

I run my fingers over the brush back and forwards to clean the brush head with the water on regularly. I never put my pole on the ground. I stand it up against a wall usually leaning on a down pipe or into a corner, The point of contact is the back of the brush head, never the bristles.

The bristles never touch a brick wall because some bricks loose brick particles.

 

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12 hours ago, spruce said:

Low winter sun shows up imperfections that have been there for years.

 

11 hours ago, Master Jedi Alejandro said:

Yeah and folk are stuck inside with nothing else to do. What would have never been noticed before or, if noticed, not cared about, is now number 1 priority! Folk need a distraction and unfortunately I think in some cases it’s gonna be blaming us 😬

Could be a bit of both, the bi-fold doors have been in about 2 years, he has been working from home since March and is usually in the back of the house, I am pretty sure he said he could feel the scratches with a finger nail and that there are back and forth lines, I explained to him that there would have to something hard caught under the bristles like cement and if that was the case I would have heard something scratch the glass and seen it,

I will find out which unit it is today, I clean all the frame first not touching the sill the clean the the first of 3 units quick swipe of the sill then run brush across the lower frame then clean the 2nd and then 3rd unit, I have done it this way and do all patio bi-fold doors like this for years without a single issue. 

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Master Jedi Alejandro
17 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

 

Could be a bit of both, the bi-fold doors have been in about 2 years, he has been working from home since March and is usually in the back of the house, I am pretty sure he said he could feel the scratches with a finger nail and that there are back and forth lines, I explained to him that there would have to something hard caught under the bristles like cement and if that was the case I would have heard something scratch the glass and seen it,

I will find out which unit it is today, I clean all the frame first not touching the sill the clean the the first of 3 units quick swipe of the sill then run brush across the lower frame then clean the 2nd and then 3rd unit, I have done it this way and do all patio bi-fold doors like this for years without a single issue. 

My understanding though is that anything caught in the bristle wouldn’t scratch as any force applied would cause it to move further down the bristle, as there is nothing hard behind it to cause the force to apply to the glass (and scratch). 

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